Minimum wage increase lifts annual salary and wages

new zealand dollar3Private sector salary and wage rates have lifted 2.1 per cent in the June 2018 year due to the rise in minimum wage on 1st April, according to Stats NZ.

The NZ Government raised the minimum wage by 75 cents to $16.50 an hour, and will continue to rise in increments until it reaches $20 per hour by 2021.

“Seventeen per cent of all surveyed salary and wages showed a rise this quarter,” said Sarah Johnson, business prices delivery manager at Stats NZ.

“Around 3 per cent of all wages were influenced at least partly by the minimum wage increase.”

In addition to the minimum wage rise the Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act 2017, which came into effect on 1st July 2017, also contributed to higher annual wages in the private sector.

Public sector salary and wages also rose in the June 2018 year, though not quite as much, at a 1.4 per cent increase.

The impact of the minimum wage increase was most keenly felt in the retail trade (increasing by 0.9 per cent) and accommodation and food services industries (increasing by 1.1 per cent), while also affecting occupations such as clerical and administrative workers, labourers and sales workers.

As is to be expected, the greatest contributors to quarterly wage increases came from some of the lowest paying industries, those that are most affected by the increase in minimum wage.

Average hourly earnings for accommodation and food services rose by 2.1 per cent, while those in the retail trade saw an increase of 1.6 per cent for the June 2018 quarter.

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